Friday, June 12, 2009

Rs 2.5 lakh for those who surrendered Naxals

Amitabh Sinha
Posted: Saturday , Jun 13, 2009 at 0142 hrs IST

New Delhi: Even as it wages a war against Naxal groups in the state, the Jharkhand Government has come out with a unique and attractive surrender and rehabilitation policy for the Naxalites in its bid to encourage the Maoists to join the mainstream. The Government has decided to pay Rs 2.5 lakh to every Naxalite who surrenders himself to police. Of this, Rs 50,000 will be paid immediately on surrender while the remaining money will be given in two equal yearly instalments after monitoring the activities of the surrendered Naxalite.

Conscious that the Naxalites had been successful in obtaining a large number of sophisticated weapons, the Government has announced additional rewards for every weapon that these Naxalites surrender. A Naxalite who surrenders with a rocket launcher or a light machine gun will be entitled to an additional reward of Rs 1 lakh.

“This is the most attractive and ambitious rehabilitation offer made to the Naxalites ever,” said state DGP V D Ram. “We hope to wean away a substantial number of Naxalites into the mainstream with this offer, especially those who have taken to Naxalism due to extreme poverty and lack of employment opportunities.”

The policy, though ready in February, could be announced only last month after the completion of Lok Sabha election and lapse of the model code of conduct. The Government has found no takers for its offer as yet, but Ram said it was too early to expect a response.

He said the Government was still in the process of publicising the offer. This reporter, on a recent visit to the state, saw a few hoardings in public places in Ranchi and also in remote villages exhorting the Naxalites to lay down arms and join the mainstream.

The Government has promised to provide vocational training to surrendered Naxalites for one year at the cost of Rs 3,000 per Naxalite per month. A life insurance cover for the Naxalite and his family and legal assistance in fighting criminal cases in courts are among other offers in the policy.

All the benefits will automatically lapse if the surrendered Naxalite is found indulging in criminal activities — either directly or indirectly.

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